Michael O’Hanlon of the Brookings Institute puts the fundamentals of Afghanistan in perspective in the light of the recent tragedy involving a massacre perpetrated by a U.S. soldier. This latest event combined with the surging trend of Green on Blue attacks, that is Afghan military on NATO attacks, is devastating for moral and U.S. resolve. Why should we stay the course? Are these events telling of a broader story or blurring the important realities.
Do most Americans have a concrete picture of just how devastating the sequential rounds of defense cuts hurt the U.S. strategically? Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute makes the numbers come to life. “A 15% cut in military pay; a 20% cut in weapons systems; and a 25 % cut in training and operations for the combatant commanders…” These are but a hint of the costs to our readiness, strategic advantage in the world, and to the personnel who defend our country.
The Obama administration has been blind to the growing threat posed by Iran in the Western Hemisphere. The president has been so neglectful that Congress is now taking action in order to prevent an Iranian attack inside the United States. HR 3783 is designed to counter Iran’s presence in the Western Hemisphere by forcing the president to take defensive action to stop any Iranian aggression. Iranian intelligence has already conducted operations in Latin America and Ahmadinejad has been cozying up to some staunch anti-American governments within the region. The question that Rep. Ed Royce contends with is what will be needed to get this bill passed in the Senate. He is confident it will go through the House with ease, but the Democratic Senate could pose a problem. Turning to the Muslim Brotherhood, what is it their doctrine is similar to Hamas yet we do not classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization?
Afghan security is not going to prevent terrorists from trying to attack America. These are transnational, secretive organizations that do not need government support or one single location to call home. Obama is pleading with the Taliban to come to the negotiating table and he is even offering to release men from Gitmo that have been deemed to be a clear and present danger to the United States of America. Does he have any regard for US security? On the other hand, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta went before the Senate and claimed that Congress is irrelevant and that the president can use the military however he sees fit when it comes to Syria. Andy McCarthy explains how the Secretary of Defense feels the president does not need to consult the people’s representatives as long as he has international approval. Obama cares more about international permission, than permission from the American people. Who does he work for?
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Have the past two years of leadership under President Obama led to the ultimate decline of the influence that the United States has in the international community? Former UN Ambassador, John Bolton kicks off Columbus Day here at Secure Freedom Radio with a discussion of Obama’s foreign policy, or lack thereof. The administration has recently made claims that it has done well with US foreign policy under President Obama. However, Ambassador Bolton argues that the administration’s focus on restructuring domestic policy has led to the degradation of US national security policy. Thus, the administration is trying to build up a narrative of good foreign policy based on a small number of successes such as the deaths of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Alwaki. Although they parade such successes, the administration in reality does not have much of a Middle East or even, foreign policy. This indecision and weakness by the administration has only caused problems and furthered the decline of the United States. An example of such ignorant policy decisions can be found in Libya, where the administration participated in the removal of Qaddafi without a clear plan for a successor. Instead of ignoring the apparent decline of US power, the administration and NATO should be embarrassed by Libya, states Bolton.
Next, head of the Virginia Anti-Sharia Taskforce, Jim Lafferty shares the microphone with Frank to enlighten us on the unsavory activities occurring in an academy in Virginia. The Islamic Saudi Academy, which is connected to the Saudi Embassy in DC, was founded in 1984 in Virginia in order to teach children about Sharia law while using Sharia principals. Residents in Northern Virginia who feared the impact it was having on children by teaching radicals ideals stopped a proposed expansion of the academy. Lafferty says that by stopping the expansion anti-Sharia groups like his own now have the opportunity to take a closer look to see how the academy actually operates. Additionally, Lafferty comments on the backlog of security clearances within the US government. Since many contractors have a quota that they must fill per day, many applications are being “express-lined” through the system. This process is creating problems as many individuals with shady connections are being granted security clearances.
US Congressman for the 40th district of California and the Chairman of the Sub-committee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, Rep. Ed Royce continues today’s show discusses the prosecution of a man in Pakistan accused of giving assistance to the CIA in finding and confirming the presence of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan. Rep. Royce states that the situation on the ground in Pakistan is worsening by the year. Thus, the United States has amped up Predator drone strikes. The main issue in Pakistan is that the ISI Pakistan intelligence services refuse to support the US in its operations targeting senior Pakistani leaders who have participated in anti-American activities. The corrupt Pakistani intelligence services have only led to more and more instability in the region and undermined US-Pakistan cooperation. This instability has also expanded the upheaval of the country and thrown more control to Islamist groups. In regards to the killing of al-Alwaki, Rep. Royce states that the Supreme Court ruled 60 years ago that a US citizen who has participated in enemy belligerent activities does not exclude him from the consequences of these treasonous acts.
Finally, resident China expert and writer at Forbes.com, Gordon Chang concludes today’s show touching on a bill being put through Congress to penalize China for its currency manipulation. Chang believes that the legislation will glide through the Senate, but will meet resistance in the House because Republicans are mostly against it. The bigger issue, however, is that the global imbalances caused by the downturn in 2008 were the result of China’s mishandling of its currency. Additionally, there is a trade war occurring between the Chinese and the United States. The reality of the matter is that China needs us more than we need them. Over 149.2% of trade surplus in China is due to trade with the United States.
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